Now that we’ve celebrated Independence Day, I’d like to suggest a greater event to celebrate – our INTER-dependence. But not as a day – as a way of life. Humans go through several stages of relationship on their course of development. First comes dependence – which we experience as baby and child when we depend on our parents and our community to keep us safe as we grow and teach us “the ropes.” Then comes independence, when we can care for ourselves and even teach the younger generation. Then, there’s this backward dysfunctional stage called “co-dependency” that unenlightened civilizations detour into called “co-dependency.”

Suckled on a worldview of self-focus or what I call “separation consciousness,” a civilization emerges that does not know how to truly love or contribute harmony. For them power through possessing is their primary lens through which they understand the world. They grow up self-focused, fearful and emotionally imbalanced. From this imbalanced emotional state they try to connect with others. But because of a misguided understanding of how relationship with others should work, they wind up offering the other something in an unspoken exchange for something in return. In this way, the relationship is not based on pure sharing but on condition: “I love you because….” or “As long as you (fill in the blank), I will love you.” (Or rather I will give you my time, attention and approval and my body).

Sadly, far from being a short detour, co-dependency is the typical state of relationship in our culture. This is true not only in romantic relationships but in friendships, family and business relationships. There is a great, empowering leap to be made across the chasm between co-dependence and interdependence. If this leap is made successfully, we find out true freedom. Whereas co-dependency is the downward, relationship-deteriorating spiral, interdependence is the way to life-generating relationships, the upward spinning spiral that elevates man on every level.

How do we make this leap successfully? First we must understand that the interdependent model is the model that all life thrives within. It is the model of the universe: unity among diversity. This means that each individuated being from the smallest microbe to the largest planet moves synergistically with one another. This means we embrace one another’s differences because the differences support the whole. It requires that we strive to be authentic and protect life so life can thrive. It promises that we are great in the truest sense when others are great in the truest sense; we are healthy when the least of us is healthy and if there is pain or suffering in some area of life, it will reach us in some way. It also means that where we have an unhealthy world-view or harmful attitude or take more than we need, we will suffer personally for that imbalance we have contributed. Simply put, all of life is interconnected. We can resist this truth and die from the consequences or we can embrace this truth and thrive!

How will we gain our true sovereignty as individuals and as a planetary community? When we celebrate interdependence and revere it every day of the year. This, my friends is the new frontier, the destiny we are divinely ordained to manifest, the call for today’s pioneers – pioneers who know that there is a greater gold rush to tap than the one in the mid-1800’s. The gold of the life-force gushing from the opening hearts of enlightened humans. Here’s to making that “Westward Ho” over the mountains of our misguided cultural programs and social conditioning and through the rivers of our emotional imbalances that have led us into co-dependence. Let’s shed those uncomfortable uniforms and have a new revolution for the kind of freedom that truly puts an end to the tyranny of our lives. Let’s declare our INTER-dependence!